Zillow Reports Show Rising Home Values in America


Chuck Ballaro of Cape Coral Breeze recently reported that the general home valuations in America are expected to rise for the first time since 2006.

There are a number of realtors who question the validity of Zillow’s report at the local level. According to Jim Fischer of Gulf Coast Realty Network, "Appraised values have gone up between 20 and 30 percent in the last 12 months." He added, "Inventory is low. Tons of people are buying including investors and second-homebuyers; a lot."

Reports show that in Lehigh Acres, a property that cost $60,000 last year now sells for $100,000 or more. Fischer also said that commissions for the major real estate companies are up 5 to 6 percent from the previous year. Although, Fischer does not agree with Zillow's methodology, he thinks the site's assessment that things are improving is accurate.

Fischer said in a statement, "I don't know where they get their numbers from. You would be hard pressed to say things aren't improving," He added, "I would agree with them that things are improving, but I wouldn't quote anything they say."

Although, Cape Coral-Fort Myers foreclosures are still one of the highest in the country, the area is recovering, according to Realtor Gloria Tate, Raso Realty, Cape Coral. Tate said that, "Things aren't only getting better, but we're leading the way in the recovery. We had a 14 percent increase in prices while nobody else was in double figures," She added, "I hear from people that things are getting better in their cities, but I'm no expert about anywhere except Cape Coral."

The positive news regarding the housing front started in May, when Cape Coral property valuations rose to 3.83 percent, which is one of the highest overall increases in Lee County.

Ken Wilkinson, Lee County Tax Assessor said that although, sales numbers are remarkable, it is still too early to forecast what this will mean in terms of overall valuation, given that his office has not started working out the 2013 tax rolls.

Wilkinson said that before he comments on the overall valuations, he is waiting for the local facts and figures. Wilkinson said in a statement, "We're still qualifying sales as they come in. They all haven't been recorded." He added, "I'm hopeful it's better than it was last year, but if the taxing authorities were hearing 14 percent and the assessment is up 4 (percent), they blame me."
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